September 6, 1961 to August 21, 2020

His Silver Wings

Ronald Wayne Culver—a musician, truckdriver, proud father of twins and grandfather of nine—passed away on Friday, August 21st, in Stockton, CA. He was just 58.

Ronnie, as he was called, was as fast with a retort as he was with a smile. His love of Country Western music led him to form his own band, Silver Wings. He loved playing bass guitar with his group at weddings, bars, and special events far into the night. Later in life, when health problems caught up with him, he took to karaoke, hopping from one karaoke establishment to another to sing his heart out.

The second of three children, Ronnie was born on September 6, 1961, in Stockton, to Harold Wayne Culver and Otoma Florence Smith, a housewife. Harold wore many hats: pilot, NASCAR-qualified driver, Sergeant in the Korean War, and owner of HR Transportation, a trucking company. The “H” in HR stood for Harold, the “R” for Ronald, a father and son business. Continue reading “RONALD WAYNE CULVER”



August 2, 1935 to August 15, 2020

She relished life

Alice Benson—a doting mom, excellent cook, and enthusiastic sports fan—passed away from a rare form of liver cancer on Saturday, Aug. 15th, in Goodyear, Arizona, her children at her side.

She was 85.

Frosted brown hair framing a gorgeous face in her younger days (as shown above), Alice relished life and never wasted a precious second. Whether diving into a swimming pool, preparing a gourmet dinner, or playing den mother to her two sons’ Boy Scout troops, she did it with flair and enthusiasm.

The first of five children, Alice was born Aug. 2, 1935 in Albany, New York to Theresa Rock Smythe and Francis Smythe. There followed two sisters Pat and Cathy, and two brothers, Jimmy and Allan.

The Love of her life

Continue reading “ALICE BENSON”


William Rogers Stern

February 27, 1919 to February 21, 2018

By Katharine Blossom Lowrie

 He lived life to the fullest and then some

[Editor’s Note: Although William passed away a few years ago, we wanted to post a special tribute to this remarkable man.]

Bill with his beloved Helen

He ran marathons, climbed the highest peaks, played a funky trombone, and soared in the field of chemical engineering. A WWII veteran, William Rogers Stern, who worshipped his wife of 62 years, Helen, and their four children, passed away in Bedford, MA, on February 21, 2018. He was 99.

To say William, “Bill” to most, lived life to the fullest and then some, couldn’t be more apt.

It wasn’t just the super-human physical endeavors, such as winning three medals at the age of ninety in the Summer National Senior Games at Stanford University, and completing the torturous seven-mile run up Mt. Washington a couple times. Or the academic achievements, such as earning chemical engineering degrees from MIT and training as a WWII radar specialist at Harvard, not to mention membership in two honor societies. Or the professional accomplishments, such as engineering innovative products that improved automotive safety and higher reliability of airport data.

Continue reading “WILLIAM ROGERS STERN”



November 18, 1947 to May 13, 2020

A Woman of Faith and Virtue

Reverend Evangelist Mother Annie Evelyn Sampson—a woman who devoted her life to family, serving others, and God—succumbed to pancreatic cancer at home in Georgia on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, her beloved family at her side. She was 72.

Much like her biblical heroes, Annie acquired superlative strength and wisdom when it came to inspiring others. Whether family, friends, or those who knew her as “the fireball preacher”, she could always be heard, encouraging others to “Tell the Lord Thank You!”

Continue reading “ANNIE EVELYN SAMPSON”



January 24, 1938 – January 7, 2017

By Katharine Blossom Lowrie

A U.S. Army Hero

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Even though I wrote this some time ago, I wanted to pay tribute to Frank Foronda, a true hero.]

Frank Martinez Foronda, Sgt. Maj. (Ret.), a passionate spokesman for veterans’ issues and recipient of the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars, died peacefully at home in Little River, South Carolina on January 7, 2017, his adored wife, Ila Jean (“I.J.”) Hurley, by his side.

In an illustrious U.S. Army career that spanned 30 years, Foronda—who will be buried with full military honors at Whiteville Memorial Cemetery in Whiteville, North Carolina—served multiple tours of duty all over the world, including three in Vietnam.

He was awarded the Silver Star for extraordinary bravery in Vietnam when, on March 20th, 1970, he pulled wounded U.S. soldiers to safety after their firebase was overrun with Viet Cong. Foronda and his unit retook the area the next morning.

He rose above racial differences


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